John Wick 4 Star is Not Happy With How Tarantino Treated Bruce Lee

John Wick 4 Star is Not Happy With How Tarantino Treated Bruce Lee
Image credit: Legion-Media/globallookpress

Donnie Yen described the portrayal of the martial arts legend as "cartoonish".

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a comedy-drama film by legendary director Quentin Tarantino, was released more than three years ago in August 2019.

The story loosely followed the real-life events of 1969 involving Sharon Tate and the infamous Charles Manson family, but with a radically different ending compared to the real-life tragedy.

Focusing on Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, brought to life by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his friend and stunt double Cliff Booth, portrayed by Brad Pitt, the plot involved several real-life characters in addition to the aforementioned Tate and Manson.

One of these characters was actor and martial arts legend Bruce Lee, played by Mike Moh, whose portrayal in the film sparked much controversy.

Tarantino decided to portray the iconic figure as an arrogant and self-absorbed jerk, much to the disappointment of the actor's fans, Lee's daughter and his protégé Dan Inosanto.

Now, another martial arts legend, Donnie Yen, who recently appeared in the critically acclaimed John Wick: Chapter 4, has shared his thoughts on the director's take on his famous colleague, and he was not positive about it.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinions. Quentin Tarantino is a very renowned filmmaker, and he's entitled to his status. And I'm entitled to state my own view. Obviously, he was making fun of Bruce. It was cartoonish," Yen said in an interview with Variety.

Fans express solidarity with the actor's opinion. They say that Tarantino did himself no favors by saying that his portrayal of Bruce Lee was accurate when he could have easily avoided the controversy by saying that it was an artistic choice.

However, some believe that the director took a part-truth-part-fiction approach, as suggested by Reddit user GTOdriver04:

"Okay I'm going to say this: Bruce Lee's performance in QT's film is from two angles. The first-we see him fighting Cliff Booth. It's a funny scene, and also a MEMORY of Booth's. Of course Booth is the hero in his own story.

Of course he beat Bruce. Why not? It's his story. The second one is when he's training with Tate. That's not a memory. We have documented proof he did this. Note how that scene is treated differently."

Unfortunately, considering Tarantino's claims above, the "unreliable narrator" theory does not fit as well as it should, even though it would have been a perfect explanation for such a portrayal of the legendary actor.